CorporateCorporate GovernanceNewsPolitics

Congress questions Gadkari on private secretary’s firm

Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi : The Congress on Friday targetted union cabinet Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Suresh Prabhu, accusing them of conflict of interest for allegedly being part of the national executive committee of a company ‘Indian Federation of Green Energy’ (IFGE), owned by Gadkari’s personal secretary Vaibhav Dange.

The party asked how Union Minister Gadkari had permitted the Shipping Ministry as well as PSUs to participate in and financially contribute to a company partly owned by his personal secretary Dange.

The opposition party also raised the point of conflict of interest vis-a-vis Gadkari.

According to reports, Dange, who comes from RSS cadre, floated the ‘Indian Federation of Green Energy’ (IFGE) on October 9, 2014, and owns a 50 per cent stake in it.

The party also questioned how a company, which started in October 2014 with a capital of Rs 1 lakh only and zero cash as also zero corpus, has built up a corpus of Rs 1.33 crore.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh asked: “The IFGE organises conclaves and programmes in tandem with PSUs and ministries under Gadkari’s control and receives financial contributions. The firm also receives contributions from private individuals, corporate entities sponsoring these events and those who deal directly with ministries under Gadkari.

“This becomes even more serious as Dange deals directly with all ministries and public sector undertakings related issues as also private entities in his capacity as private secretary to the Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister.”

Ramesh said: “Even today (November 24) IFGE is organizing a conference on ‘Ethanol As a Transport Fuel’ in partnership with Centre Institute of Road Transport under Ministry of Transport at Pune.

“Even in 2015-16, similar conferences were organized in league with Ministry of Transport. Besides Gadkari’s ministry, IFGE organizes similar conclaves, conferences and summits in partnership with other ministries and receives financial contributions,” he added.

“Isn’t the conflict of interest of Gadkari writ large on the whole matter?” Ramesh asked.

“Has Dange not violated the Central Civil Service Conduct Rules, which prohibit a public servant from accepting contributions and associating with raising of any funds or collections or cash?” he added.

Ramesh said: “Conflict of interest and diversion of public funds to private entity has become an everyday affair under the Modi government.

“No wonder that a company, which started in October 2014 with a capital of Rs 1 lakh only and zero cash as also zero corpus, has built up a corpus of Rs 1.33 crore (Rs 73 lakh in 2014-15 and Rs 60 lakh in 2015-16). This company also has cash equivalent of Rs 1.54 crore.

“That IFGE’s office is at Rohit House on Tolstoy Marg, New Delhi as per its corporate filing. This office is owned by another member of the national executive of IFGE Ravi Boratkar. Incidentally, Boratkar is also a director of ‘Purti Power and Sugar Limited’ owned by Gadkari’s family,” he added.

The party asked if both Gadkari and Prabhu have violated the code of conduct for union ministers.


Related Articles

Back to top button